Turkey time!

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

Well, the big day is almost here, and the turkey’s hanging out in the fridge all happy in its brine. But, what to do with it? I feel like every year I do the same thing. Coat with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, shove an onion in it, cover with tinfoil and roast. Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, the end result is usually pretty tasty, but this year I was craving something different. Something special.

We usually have a big rowdy crowd for Thanksgiving, but this year I’m taking it easy and only having a handful of guests. After asking others to help out by bringing yummy sides, I decided I would focus my attention on the birdy. I was ready for a twist on my boring old buttered turkey – but what to do? Time to get out the good dishes, clean the bathrooms, and get going.

It’s turkey time!

I also need something to feed the babe.


I’m already freaked out enough about the holidays and getting everything done with the child hanging around. I’m also worried someone wont latch the baby gate at the top of the stairs, close the bathroom door (hello – remember the toilet bowl brush incident?), or will leave a pointy fork just in her reach…..

Yeah, neurotic. I know.

But, you mammas and daddies out there can’t deny having the same concerns and worries. And, the desire to roast the perfect turkey makes everything a bit more insane.

I searched around for some good ideas and was wooed by a picture of a turkey from Midwest Living, which enticed me to try something different. How about a maple glazed roast turkey? Maybe toss some brown sugar and a bit of mustard into the rub-a-dub? Sounds good to me! And I figured the sweet and savory spin would excite the babe enough so she wouldn’t toss the goods to the floor when it was offered to her.

What do other kids eat on Thanksgiving? I tried to remember what I loved and got stuck on mashed potatoes. I still love mashed potatoes and gravy – yummmmmm. But, I don’t remember anything from when I was almost two-years-old, who does? I want this Thanksgiving to be an enjoyable experience for the babe AND have it be an opportunity for her to sit at the big kids’ table with us enjoying the special meal.

I came across some cute and fun ideas for picky eaters from my friends over at the Motherboard that reminded me to keep things realistic and maybe try taste-testing foods with the wee tot before the big day.

I think I’ll just toss extra-extra marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole and let her have at it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

De-stressing the holidays

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I looked at the calendar this morning and just about freaked out. The fact that we are already in the middle of November sent a total crazy-chill down my spin. Because the weather has been so nice at my house these last couple of days, the thought of basting the baking turkey and decorating the house in a festive way totally slipped my mind. We’re also recovering from our pet tragedy. But, there’s no stopping it. The holidays are just days away.

This year I was planning on keeping things pretty low-key for Thanksgiving, but I say that every year and then end up going all out – roasting up a huge turkey and making all the fixings. I spend the whole day cleaning and cooking for friends to come over, eat, mess the place up, and leave. Then, just days later, all the Christmas decorations go up and it’s time to clean the house from top-to-bottom so everything sparkles all over again. The babe’s already pulled down our fall leaf garland and added it to her toy pile. I can’t imagine what she’ll do to a Christmas tree!

I’m twitching just thinking about it.

Last year, my daughter was barely walking, so wasn’t that much of a threat to holiday cooking and preparation. Now I’ve got an almost-two-year-old that isn’t always in the best of moods to contend with, too.


I know I’m not alone. There are other mammas out there that pull off stunning holiday meals and look nice and put together at the same time. So, where are they? What do they have to say? Will they come over and cook MY turkey? I found a couple of ladies that were willing to honestly share what stresses them out most during the holidays, which at least helped me feel less freaked-out and caused me to giggle and snort. One mom even suggested moving to a location (like North Dakota) no family wants to visit to avoid all the fuss-and muss!

But, what about all that cooking?! My oven can only hold so much! I decided to get the guests on board for the holiday meal. I can roast the turkey, make the stuffing, and easily mash those potatoes with the baby hanging on my leg – but baking that perfect pumpkin pie? No thanks. Someone else can be in charge of that! I made a couple of calls and evenly distributed sides and desserts to those attending. Yeah, yeah, there was some grumbling, but if you want green-bean casserole on Thanksgiving, bring it yourself!

Also, instead of spending hours making appetizers, I decided to keep it simple. And, thanks to the Motherboard, hooked up with some great ideas that would please everyone (including me), take no time to prepare and wont bust my budget, either!

That gets me through Thanksgiving.

Now, Christmas. That’s a whole other beast.